How to Do a Festival on a Budget – Surviving and Thriving

How to do a festival on a budget? Which festival should I choose this year? I wish I could attend more festivals – Sound familiar?

How to do a festival on a budget and save as you go

If you are anything like us, there are so many festivals to experience and so little time to get to them all without a clone.

So until that technology catches up here are some festival hacks and tips I’ve picked up along the way.

As with most tasks preparation is everything. Try to plan the festival season in advance and zero in on the ones you really want to get to.

This will not only ensure the process is as stress-free as possible it will also enable you plenty of time to apply for volunteer positions and get organized in advance.

Most festivals have a website that enables you to apply for a volunteer position, if not check their social pages and drop them a message.

Keep in mind that your role will be selected based on your skillset and previous experience.

Congratulations you just saved €150- €400.

Volunteering will not only allow you to save the price of the ticket, but you will also make some amazing connections and be involved in creating the festival which creates an overwhelming sense of togetherness that’s palpable.

In some cases food will be provided, water is always available free and of course, you can and should bring your own supplies.

How to do a festival on a budget and thrive
How to do a festival on a budget and thrive

Transport options

We only have a few options for transport. Walk, ride, take the car or take a bus.

Carpooling is the most common – you will lower emissions, spread the cost of fuel, and make new friends for life because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good road trip?

Great – you now have your ticket and transport organized it’s time to pack, very light!

It’s so easy to take everything including the kitchen sink however at the end of a festival you will not want to pack down an elaborate setup and carry it, sometimes over a kilometer… believe me, it’s no picnic.

Check the event pages for spare seats and if you can, offer a ride.

Depending on the festival there may be a shuttle bus – in Australia, we are lucky to have the Banana Bus providing safe and affordable festival transport – link.

Keep it to the bare essentials – clothes tent/swag, good shoes, torch, toiletries, hat, sunglasses, etc – you get the idea.

If you are taking a cooler, saving money on ice is as simple as freezing your drinks, perishable food should be consumed in the first day or two.

As the festival moves into full swing it is important to remind yourself that money is the only currency we use to trade value.

Your skills and resourcefulness will start to surface – maybe you can trade a massage for a meal, some information for a drink, lend a hand setting up tents.

How to do a festival on a budget and rave
How to do a festival on a budget and rave

The barter system

The barter system is alive and the possibilities are endless because you are in a community of like-minded people that are all there for the same reason, with needs and fears just like you.

Failing all of that, when in doubt just ask for help, the generosity within this community is truly inspiring.

With all that in mind, festivals are a tranquil place where we can disconnect from our busy lives and connect with nature and fellow humans.

Don’t break yourself or your budget just to get there, more festivals are around the corner and although very unique, there is an overall sense of togetherness regardless of the music genre or location.

We are one consciousness experiencing everything together which means FOMO is just a construct and a thing in the past.

Written by Nina Borg Nicolas

Nina Borg Nicolas is a content writer focused on local events in Malta, subculture and the arts.

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